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Oral History

Name: Ngarralja Tommy May

Ngarralja Tommy May - Kurtal, Kaningarra and the Canning Stock Route [ORAL HISTORY]

Other Speaker/s: Ngilpirr Spider Snell, Jukuja Dolly Snell

Synopsis: Tommy talks about his painting Kurtal and Kaningarra, and tells the Jukurrpa story of these two. Tommy and Spider Snell talk about taking care of these two jila today, and who is left to look after Kurtal and Kaningarra. He talks about seeing bullock for the first time near Well 42. He talks about cultural and law boundaries throughout the Canning Stock Route Coutry and how kartiya doen't know about thes boundaries.

Date: 8/16/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Kriol, English
Catalogue number: CSROH_27_Ngarralja_Tommy_May
Interviewed By: Nicole Ma; ABC 7.30 Report reporters
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Recorded by: Nicole Ma; ABC 7.30 Report
Location Described: Kurtal, Kaningarra
Location Recorded: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -19.0796/128.2542

Access: PUBLIC
Notes: Recorded by Nicole Ma with ABC 7.30 Report/ Landline. It is likely the male reporter asking questions in this footage is David Mark. There were notes and corrections made to this story when the permission was gathered on 3 September 2008, these notes have been included in this transcript.
Full transcript:
Tommy May: Yeah, right through.

Nicole Ma: And what do you remember about this place from before?

TM: Yeah, this place right. We walked from desert, we been right around here, all around, when I was a kid. With my mother and my uncle. One of them, his father for Tax, Richard Tax. He up in Halls Creek, eh. Old people home. Richard Tax. That’s my cousin brother. He from this Country too. I know all of his family around in Balgo and here.

NM: What do you remember before the Stock Route came?

TM: Ah, that stock road I know is before all that, whitefella, kartiya [white man] bloke in the road been just, still I reckon only lately. That road been put, [by] all those Canning mob, whoever been working on that road, lately. But we trust this bloke. Dreamtime. That really true. And before it used to be blackfella Country, they used to walkin to Kurtal and walk to, what that place um, Kulyayi, or way down another place too. They was walking down, all around, walk around. See? Before that Canning Stock Road. That Canning Stock Road they been only put it lately. Still, lately, name. It wasn’t Canning Stock Road before. Before was a, now can’t drovin there. Nothing. Before that drovin, still lately. I say only yesterday. Before was just nothing: blackfella Country. Soakwater, jila [spring], jumu [ephemeral water], rockhole, that area.

NM: And now what?

TM: Now it’s Canning Stock Road now. For anybody to use. That camel man been working for the well, still lately. Before, these two man [pointing to painting of [Kurtal and Kaningarra], Dreamtime stories and before used to be blackfella Country this.

NM: Ngarralja, when you were a little kid in your Country what stories did you hear about the stock route?

TM: Still, I heard the cattle drovers still, but nother mob tell me jila [ancestral being, spring] side still very important Dreamtime stories really. Yeah. Dreamtime for jila, all of those stories. What jila been living in there, anywhere, in the hill or rocky Country. Dreamtime was before that, that really true. And this two person was a really true. Before, early days when I been a kid, might be before I been born, these two waterholes they been looking after, cleaning all the time. They, this mob [Kurtal] they used to come down to this mob, Kaningarra, Kaningarra. I know these people for that side, for old people. That’s the looking after Kaningarra. Keep it clean and sometime make it rain. That same two for that thing, story.

NM: It’s that old man. [Spider Snell sits down]

TM: Yeah. He know these stories, two, these two [Kurtal and Kaningarra jila].

Spider Snell: [asks question in language, nganayi]

TM: No, purrku [husband], Kurtal and Kaningarra

SS: Yeah, Kaningarra, Kurtal.

TM: [pointing] This one Kaningarra, Kurtal.

SS: [pointing] Kurtal here, Kaningarra there.

TM: That’s the one we sing and dance with these two. Anytime. For KALACC [Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre], KALACC …

SS: [pointing to Kaningarra?] Shut him up, this one shut him up today, no more …

TM: No more today, nothing.

SS: No juju [song and dance] [gestures wide distance] juju, might be. [Speaks in language.]

TM: No more Kaningarra, no Kurtal, nothing.

NM: No more?

SS: Mm, all in Bayulu, what name [meaning sorry camp] ...

TM: Someone passed away in Fitzroy.

SS: Yuwayi [yes], Jakarra [Skipper].

TM: No more this one song.

SS: They been shut him away, leave it.

TM: Some day they can dance after one year, over.

SS: Only, any time [language], wati kujarra [two men] for Kaningarra there, Kurtal …

TM: This one [Kaningarra] he got no really boss. No one looking after properly. That jila [ancestral being, spring], cleaning up.

NM: No one’s looking after it?

TM: Yeah. This one [Kaningarra]. This one right [Kurtal].
[Both men pointing with their sticks]

SS: Oh, boss, right. [speaks in language] ... ngaju [points to Kurtal] this one boss [I’m the boss for this one].

TM: For this place, this place used to be before, keep it clean. Old people, jila people.

NM: [XX – indecipherable, referring to young people for Kaningarra?]

TM: They don’t know nothing. He lost that water hole. People used to live there. Kurtal help clean that special way. Very sad.

Dolly Snell: Ah, yawi [poor thing].

SS: Wayampajarti, nganayi [what’s this one]… Nyirla, Yawul [near Kaningarra] Wayampajartu [drawing in the sand] …

TM: No, these two [pointing to painting].

SS: Yeah … [XX – in language] make, Kurtal. I been shut him up.

[Dolly stands between the two men.]

NM: Dolly sit down, sit down. [Spider tells Dolly to sit in language]

[Dolly moves to left of Spider.]

NM: Stay there! [In the middle]

DS: No, I sit down here [looks at painting, camera moves to include her.]

TM: Story I did for all that road, well, putting well, still after, lately. These two first, Dreamtime. Jukurrpa [dreaming]. All of the Jukurrpa. Dreamtime, stories. And people used to walk up and down in the blackfella Country before, no worries.

SS: [In language: I took Kurtal dance to America and all around the world, everywhere. Dolly interjects and revises his story, he laughs and continues, Dolly adds to it.]

NM: Spider, do you know any stories about the Canning Stock Route?

SS: Yuwayi [yes], that one all the way.

TM: My story is finished.

SS: I’m have to go stock road, stock road any time, go. Yangurta time [XX] yawarta [horse] time.

[Dolly speaks in language referring to Tommy having made the painting they’re looking at.]

TM: My mother been taking me around here when I been a kid. To this place and this place, no worries. Show me waterhole, names.

Male Reporter: Tell me what Country you were in when you first saw the bullocks and the drovers?

TM: Ah, near Kurtal Country. Come from Kurtal to Canning Stock Route just for walk around with George Lee father, Ned Jamili. Way down desert, yeah.

Male Reporter: Were you just a boy?

TM: Yeah, me and my brother.

Male Reporter: What did you think when you saw them?

TM: See all the dust, drovers from here, and we come across for meat, for bullock. We knew some family was there. [Laughs] Married some fella, they want a tobacco, old people. That niki niki [tobacco] init? Kartiya [white people’s] tobacco.

SS: Yeah niki niki tobacco.

TM: Niki niki tobacco and flour might be, yeah.

Male Reporter: What did you think of the bullocks when you saw them the first time?

TM: No, I never come there. Frightened of big bullocks. I know one galloped at us near one place, another well the other side of Kulyayi. You might have come through, know that place? What they got here? 42. The Well. 42. Yeah, we been walk around there.

NM: You went there?

TM: Chasing all the rabbits. Did you see all the rabbits there? Rabbits, should be plenty there.

John Carty: Wallabi [Charlie Tjungurrayi] said there was a big mob but we never saw them. He said in that tali [sand hill] there …

TM: Scrub Country.

JC: Yeah, near the lake …

TM: Yeah, scrub Country [XX] place. [Film skips forward] No, no, no. [Skips forward again] Here in Balgo, and go back from Balgo to Lamboo Well there and from there we heading to another place. Through Fitzroy Crossing way. We was a kid. Lot of our people, old people, brothers, these days, brother, uncle they been already working in station. We couldn’t find anybody behind. [Chuckles] That’s why we went.

Male Reporter: So you left the Country?

TM: Yeah, but still now we think back to Kurtal. I been there now lately. Yeah.

Male Reporter: What County did you go to when you left?

TM: From here? Ah to Christmas Creek. Way down to long way to near Derby Country. Work around. Kid time.

Male Reporter: Was that when you where still a boy?

TM: Yeah, Meeda, Meeda Station. Man grow up there, ride a horse. Stock ringing job. Yep, wali, nyamu [that’s all, finished]. Yeah, me and my, I know, Richard Tax, he’s my really cousin brother. He from Kurtal Country.

SS: Desert country, Kurtal.

TM: Mariya janu [XX], he finish up in there in Halls Creek, yeah.

SS: Ngurra ngurra [Country, home is Kurtal].

TM: His Country is this place, Kurtal Country.

Karen Dayman: Ngarralja, do you still take your sons and Spider’s Grandsons back there now? You been doing ceremony at Kurtal and ...

TM: Yeah. Japeth [Rangie – Spider’s grandson], Thomas [May – Tommy’s son], they went.

SS: [In language] Japeth went there ...

TM: [smiling and pointing at Tom Lawford] This bloke was there too. [Laughs] Yeah, when that water was still full!

NM: But you said that no one is looking after it anymore?

TM: No, this place little bit [Kaningarra]. Not this place, we visit. When that no water we go a clean em this place [Kurtal]. He only shallow. He not, he ...

NM: You still wanna do that?

TM: Yeah, when he dried up. Might be dried up I don’t know.

SS: Might be dry or might be nothing ...

TM: It’s very important for us poor fella. It’s old people home there.

SS: All finish. Old people finish, langa this one there [Kurtal].

TM: Jila people. All the Lawa Lawa mob. You know Lawa Lawa?

SS: Lawa Lawa, this one father [pointing to Dolly] This one father, properly, Kurtal. And me too, but little bit outside me.

TM: That’s why you got no good road eh. To Kurtal. No you right. [chuckles]

NM: Do you want to get a road there?

TM: No, somebody might be come along behind eh, leave it quiet, eh. [To Nicole Ma:] Eh?

NM: Remember you asked me to build a road?

TM: Yeah. One time ago.

DS: You want to make it manga [girl]!

SS: Yeah, gotta make it.

TM: No nganayi [what], somebody might come along, tourist. Eh? Tourist, visiting, I reckon.

NM: To make a road they’ll all be there?

TM: Yeah.

DS: All can’t visit em kartiya [white people] langa there you know, that jila [spring].

TM: No.

DS: Yeah but one side where there might be, nother road.

TM: Not from other way.

DS: Yeah.

TM: Kulyayi side they might be come from cross way.

NM: You know they can go from the Canning Stock Route?

TM: Yeah, easy.

SS: Only one side, Stock Road …

NM: Helena Springs and then they’ll find it.

TM: Yeah easy. And they make camp there, big camp.

SS: [XX - speaks in language, says they’ll have to grade it]

TM: There was one man. One man he must be been running around there, one blackfella, in that Country, early days. That, who that bloke? Jangala bloke [Daniel Vachon] he was reading in the book eh. One Camel man come along, he had five camel I think.

KD: Carnegie.

TM: Carnegie. Carnegie, that’s the bloke eh. And he come, find that blackfella, walk around in the bush and kartiya [white man] want to find the water. Camel man eh.

And he saw that blackfella and he ask, ‘Any water?’ ‘Yeah, we know. I know, water here.’ He might be meet him in somewhere, other side eh. In Warla Country. Warla. He been ask for water, ‘Yeah, I’ll take you down to water.’ But he never tell him with English. I don’t know what he been do [chuckles] He might ‘Wiya nga katikunanta’ ‘I’ll show you.’ He might be take him to that Kurtal now. Show that big waterhole. They been stay there for five days. Story about there, camel man.

NM: Is that true?

TM: Yeah

NM: Carnegie was it?

TM: Yeah, his daughter init [isn’t it]?

KD: Helena.

TM: Helena, yeah. Man that, he had, now he lately, he’s name of, in that girl name now, that Helena Spring. Yeah. He had daughter behind, eh? Live.

NM: So he named that spring after his daughter?

TM: Yep, there now, Helena Spring.

[Film skips forward …]

TM: One been, might be one of them Lawa Lawa family, Lawa Lawa family, he been know that water. That kartiya [white man] couldn’t find water. And they been take him to that place, big water hole, [XX] he springing all the time see.

SS: Dead [?]

NM: Because why, why is it always dead [?], the water?

TM: No, he all the time, shallow thing, lotta spring water, lotta strong. He bubbling from under too. Under the gate [?] he in a good Country, not in hill, not in billabong, not in river, just in bush Country. Oh, you saw [to Nicole Ma, smiling] no, no, you never seen it properly, he was cover up [with water].

NM: Yeah, I haven’t seen it properly.

TM: Yeah.

NM: Maybe next time.

TM: Yeah, next time when dry time. But dry time you not allowed to stop there looking at the waterhole, you gotta be bush. All the woman bush, he did it [pointing to Karen Dayman?] all this mob, only man work, only be man, one time. Right down, like sunset, when everything finish, someone gotta call you out, come to waterhole, come to that place. After all the work finish. They used to do that too before when I been a kid. Stranger, only for law really, really hard. You gotta have water in drum or jerry can or whatever. Karen’s right. Yeah. All for old people for. Really punish, punish[ing work] for young people, gotta learn that way.

NM: Where are all of the old people then?

TM: No they work. They in the waterhole, gotta be work all the time. Old people. Or young people. Got to work by all the skin group too. That water got a skin group. Law for that water. Kurtal story. Mm, yeah … Yeah, Kurtal he not far from ... [ends, tape skips forward]

Male Reporter: What do you think about telling these Aboriginal stories about the Canning Stock Route?

TM: Well there is, very important thing for early days, really. This thing about before that Canning road been put up that, whoever been workin’ camel, making the wells, still lately. Mmm. I reckon it used to be blackfella Country before. All the jumu [ephemeral water], jumu like soak water.

Male Reporter: Why do you think it’s important to tell these stories?

TM: They don’t know anybody. They might be, they might be … [tape skips forward]
… and nother one round here, but they gotta come careful way, you know. Respect nother elders in front. Come there they gotta learn different way. But there they used to have a business might be, kid time, he right. Marlulu [law – boy’s initiation time]. Whoever know the Marlulu. Law time. He right. Palya [good]. Not just walk in anyway. No. Danger.

JC: Do you think that today, like when you see the map you just see the one road Canning Stock Route, that’s all kartiya [white people] see, do you think kartiya understand those boundaries you are talking about now?

TM: No, nothing.

Male Reporter: How did that road change what you are talking about, the blackfella travelling out there?

TM: He change, still lately. Might be been a lot of law ground there. Dreamtime. Whoever been live there early days really. And they been just claim all other boundaries, and nother boundary. They don’t care about. No respect really. Nothing. No. That white kartiya law not like blackfella, no. Blackfella got to respect, respect nother people, nother tribe, other language. Old people good stories. Yeah. He right. Today, lately. Any whitefella can through any … [tape jumps forward]

People get killed over there. Yeah, from not crossing, too rough, come to that nother tribe, other side. Making trouble, something wrong. Get speared, yeah. Someone might be get sing, mad. That blackfella way, early days. You gotta respect elders there. Not too rough. Not walkin anywhere.

Male Reporter: Do you know stories about people being killed because of the Stock Route?

TM: Oh, not for, before that. Before that everywhere too. You can’t come to cross to law time there, now lately too. You come too rough there nother way, and they won’t like you. Too rough. They gotta come really careful or manners, respect, he alright.

Male Reporter: And today you got tourists going everywhere.

TM: Mixed. Don’t know where they go. That’s why all the law finish. Mm. Grog too much

SS: Mmm mm.

TM: Another thing, ganja, drink too much, lotta business still there for old people. Yeah. All the marninwarntikura law [women’s law] there. I been grow up in different old people. They was telling me story, don’t, not to be do that. My time. I used I used to live in young people or old people in the, we get them, not in woman mix, kid time. That’s where you learn, get all the idea here, learn you there. Come good people, careful. That’s it. Not mad way. Someday you get spear through you. Nulla nulla [speared] in the head.

Yeah. That’s it.


Source: CSROH_27_Ngarralja_Tommy_May

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Name: Clifford Brooks

Clifford Brooks - Rover Thomas and his brother [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Clifford talks about how his father left his family behind at Yalta when he was young and went droving. He travelled throughout the Country and then came back looking for his younger brother (Rover Thomas) and the rest of his family. One day, decades later, they saw Rover's photo in the newspaper and the brothers were reunited.

Date: 2006-11
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English, Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_140_Clifford_Brooks
Interviewed By: Carly Davenport
Transcribed By: Monique La Fontaine
Translated By: Annette Williams
Recorded by: Carly Davenport
Location Recorded: Wiluna
Latitude/Longitude: -26.595/120.225

Access: PUBLIC
Notes: This story has been transcribed and some of the sections in Martu have been translated, however some language gaps still exist.
Full transcript:
Clifford Brooks: Yuwo [yes]. I wanna tell you fellas what I been hear, story about my, about this old people, what been happening, and this project that is going to happen, bout the Canning Stock Route. We wanna tell you fellas bout things been happening in the past that hasn’t been recorded, what old people had it in their head. It was up here, recorded, but not written, no paper, [XX], no pencil and paper. It was up here, been recorded. And that’s how I got to get that knowledge of recording it in my head.

And this is a true story what my old man been tell me. Well, few old people been tell me different different stories. But I sort of, but I mean it took me a long time to get it to, to get it into my head. But I know that it’s true. That when my old man left his youngest brother and his mother and father, he been leave em behind in Yalta near [Well] 33. And he been go, following the droving. They been go kujarra [two of them]. He went back to look for his ngurra [Country]. Them two been go, youngfellas. They been following that droving. They been following right up until they been, til they had to branch off and go towards Jigalong way. But they used to go meet up with all the mens. Old man-pa, and he had to go back.

He been walk back through Karlamilyi River, goin back to Yalta, Yarakijikarti [?] he went looking for his young brother Rover [Thomas], old man-pa. He went looking for him, back in his home Country and [for him] paluku, mother and father, my old man-ku. He went and seen yanu [went]nyangu [nothing] — nothing. Nothing. Ngurra [Country] nyangu — nothing, empty. No track. Only track was there, wagon wheel and yawarta [horse] and bullock, that’s all. Yawarta katja [horses].

He been run into [XX] eaglehawk. They been flying around, all sort of eagles. He been get up on a sandhill and he been look down, two tali [sandhills] and in the middle of two tali: men, women and children. Walypala [whitefella] massacre, they been get shot, men, women and children. Whitefella shoot them with a rifle. Only the ones that get saved is the ones that went hunting and never came back. They camped out bush, they been only come next day kukawarnti [no meat left].

And he been tell him, he used to tell me, he didn’t know about months, day. He didn’t know. Moon. That’s all. That’s why he been tell him, ‘I’ll be back in one months. You see that moon up there? That’s when I’ll be back. I’ll pick you up on the way back, and your family, and we’ll go Country, Jigalong karti [we’ll go to Jigalong]’. And he’s alive today old Badger [XX] Jigalong. And that’s why that old fella, he knew in his heart old man-ju that his young brother was still alive, that I didn’t even know. Every time in the camp fire he used to tell me, ‘My young brother is still alive some where up north’. Back in the, kuwarri [lately] kuwarri not long, in about 90s I had a article, newspaper, read em in a paper-ku, and one old fella Wajarrijtiu [XX], ‘You know that paper, [that] face-pa? Have a look that paper, that face on the newspaper there, have a look’. And he been, ‘You know that bloke?’ I said, ‘No, I don’t know that old fella’. ‘Well you have a look at your father and you look at that face in the newspaper. That’s your young father, your father’s youngest brother that one.’

And straight away it clicked in my mind that I knew that old man was right. He was alive. And the very next day I got on the phone, I rang to Warmun, community office, I rang there and old man on the other side knew. Somebody must have told him, or something must have told him I was going to ring that day and he answered the phone and he said he knew I was ringing for him. I told him that, ‘Your oldest brother is here’, and they spoke for a little while on a two-way radio, there was no phone in that community. Them two talked. And they said, ‘can we meet?’ And I straight away said, ‘I’ll buy you a ticket. I’ll put you on the bus and you travel on that bus, you get to Hedland, jump on nother bus, you come on inland bus to Newman’. So when he arrived I got him off the bus at night, took him across to the car park. My old man was standing up and I took Rover across, and they didn’t know whether to yampulkaku [hug] or shake hand, they been cry. But I stood in the back there, I had tears coming out my eyes. I cried for them. And cos I knew, you know.

I said, ‘well, I better get something’. I told old man that, ‘I don’t drink, my old man he don’t drink, but I know that you drink’. I tell old Rover, ‘I’ll buy you wama [alcohol] and you can have a drink and you two can talk’. I took em out of the town, out bush, made a big fire and I said, ‘well, have a drink and you two can talk about it’. They been happy, talking all night, right up til day break, drinking. They been hugging one another all night now. They was really happy. From all that time. So it was about 40 years apart, they been away from each other. They only met when they was old, that’s all.

And all that time that I never had interest in paintings and arts. I was too busy, working. So, this year when I went to Turkey Creek, old people been tell me there, and my sister, Jane, she been tell me, ‘I’m doing arts now’. ‘That’s good, you should follow the old man. I’ll start up painting too’. Because I knew that in my heart, and old man tell me that, you know, ‘We gotta do painting and tell our stories through there.’ Because nobody wouldn’t believe us, so might as well do it through arts so the whole world can hear us: this is a true story that we gotta put on down on the paper. Painting Jukurrpa ngapulu [father’s Dreaming], that’s a jamumili Jukurrpa [grandfather’s Dreaming], our grandfather’s land. It’s not a thing, it’s a Jukurr [Dreaming], really, what our old people been tell us what to do. That’s why we gotta carry this so the people in other country can have a look too: what is true, that’s never been recorded. So, what we talking about kuwarri [now] is a history we gotta do. So, that’s why I do painting kuwarri ngayinpa [me now?] because of my old man been tell me, ‘tell your stories through painting’.

I’m sure other people are doing it too through painting too, to tell their story. [XX] they been telling us. [XX] So, we wanna try to get, to get together, tell our story about our Country, because it’s our life. It’s in that Country there, our jamu [grandfather], and our grannies. Yuwo [yes]. Palya [good].

Carly Davenport: Palya [good], Clifford do you want to tell a little bit about how when you went to Warmun you visited the grave, and then you and another family member wrote for [XX] grave?

CB: Yuwa [yes]. I been in Turkey Creek for that pinyi [funeral] time [ XX - ... old man-ku] and Mala my family there in Turkey Creek, sister been, they been get a headstone, they been put it in the grave there and there’s a story there. If anybody want to have a look at that story there it’s been written, in English, and it’s been written in Kija, their language in Turkey Creek. I been there last year when I had a look. It’s a true story where old man been travelling. He been patayanu patangyulpayi [looking – spelling?] for his young brother and he been looking for his mum and dad, patangyipi, [looking for – spelling?] kapali-ku [his grandmother] and for his father, [my] jamu [grandfather], that’s how that headstone there in Warmun community, gravesites got a story there. That me and my oldest brother wrote, where them two been apart from each other for 40 years. They only met lately in the ‘90s, they only met. So, it’s a history, what we gotta keep, it’s never been written on a paper, it’s been written in here [points to head]. Yuwo, palya [yes, good]!


Source: CSROH_140_Clifford_Brooks

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Name: Mayarn Julia Lawford

Mayarn Julia Lawford - Childhood on the stock route [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Her parents Jimmy and Jinny James took Mayarn down the Canning Stock Route from Billiluna when she was small. They took goats to the drovers as meat. She was scared when she saw camels for the first time. She broke her leg on the trip and was looked after by a nurse from Wiluna. Then they brought the goats back to Nyarna, Lake Stretch.

Date: 8/17/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English, Wangkajungka, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_32_Mayarn_Julia_Lawford
Interviewed By: Putuparri Tom Lawford, John Carty
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Recorded: Nyarna, Lake Stretch
Latitude/Longitude: -19.0796/128.2542

Cultural Protocols: PUBLIC ACCESS
Access: PUBLIC
Notes: Some corrections and additions were made to this transcript when permission was sought on 3 September 2008. These changes have incorporated into this document.
Full transcript:
My father Jimmy James and my mother Jinny James, they both took me. I was small then. I don’t know, might be that high. They been take me with camel, from here now. From this place, Billiluna we went droving somewhere. I don’t know which road.

[Tom tells Mayarn to speak in Walmajarri.]

We went, they took me when I was small. We were taking goats for the drovers as meat when they were droving cattle. One kartiya [white man] by the name of Jack Barry was in charge of the goats. We went straight down on the Canning Stock Route. I don’t know where. Past Kaningarra. Long way from there. Camping along the way.

Every night we used to make yards out of wood and big grass and leaves and branches for the goats, so they can’t get away, then herded them in for the night. In the mornings we let them, gave them water from the wells and kept on going. Me, they put me in a box on a camel after, after I broke my leg. I was only a little girl then. We were having dinner somewhere and these kartiyas [white people] came, all the camel man. I got scared from seeing those camels. My mum said, ‘Look out manga [girl]! Camels are coming!’ I ran. I didn’t see that goanna hole. I tripped over and broke my leg. That mob that came with the camels had a nurse with them too. They put two sticks on my broken leg and then wrapped it with bandage. It was broken. They put that on me. Nurse coming from Wiluna side, I am from Billiluna.

We kept on going, I don’t know where. I don’t know that place. Then we had to come back from there, from half-way, because those kartiyas [white people] told us to take the goats back to Nyarna [Lake Stretch]. We came back from there with those goats. Right back to here, Nyarna. They were killer [those goats], meat to kill and eat here. We stayed around there for a while before bringing those goats back, after those kartiya fixed my leg. We then travelled back, taking them goats from … I don’t know what well and I don’t know how many nights we camped. We came back from a long way. My mum never told me where we came back from or where we went to. We finally made it to here, to Nyarna. Them other kartiyas that were here said, ‘Hey, why are they coming back with them goats?’ That kartiya Jack Barry was with us too. He spoke to the manager and told him why we had to come back. Wali nyamu [finished, that’s all].

Source: CSROH_32_Mayarn_Julia_Lawford

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Name: Ngilpirr Spider Snell

Ngilpirr Spider Snell - Kurtal story and Kinki [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Spider tells the story of Kurtal, where he came from and his journey during Jukurrpa (Dreaming). Spider then tells his own story, about being left at Kurtal,and being one of his lightnings. His mother found him there as a snake and that is where he was born. He grew up there and would go hunting. He brother drank from the water at Kurtal and was grabbed by the snake and pulled into the water, he let him go. Kurtal is quiet now, Spider is the only one looking after him now. He went from Kurtal to Billiluna, where he was initiated and he finished law at Wangkatjungka.He married Dolly when they were young and they still live with each other. Finally Spider tells the Kinki story.

Date: 11/16/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: Wangkajunga, Walmajarri
Catalogue number: CSROH_52_Ngilpirr_Spider_Snell
Interviewed By: John Carty
Translated By: Putuparri Tom Lawford
Location Described: Kurtal
Location Recorded: Fitzroy Crossing
Latitude/Longitude: -18.17/125.59

Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
I am jila. I will tell you about jila, I’m talking about Kurtal jila [ancestral being, and spring]. Rain came, a big one, in the early days. It rained for a while, a big rain. After the rain, grasses started to grow. That was him, the grass that began to grow, purrun purrun [grass] we call it. From the grass he turned into a man. Kurtal turned into a man from the grass, purrun purrun. From all that grass he grew into a man. From there he sent a kutukutu [rain-bearing cloud] but it came back. He sent it again, it still came back. He sent it again, this time north, it still came back, that cloud kutukutu. To the east he sent another cloud [kutukutu]. This time it didn’t come back. The cloud went into his own Country, Kurtal, and it went into the waterhole. From a grass he became a man. From there he said, ‘Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla’ [He’s singing here: Kurtal, where are you?] He called himself Kurtal. Kurtal is big. He is very big. From there he went to a place called Japingka. Japingka is another jila [ancestral being, and spring] too; Japingka gave him some sacred objects.

From there he went off again past Karlijita [St. George Ranges]. He came to a place call Mangunampi, [a place near Yakanarra] another jila [ancestral being]. He was there with that jila for a while. From there he took off again heading towards Broome, he been travel there. He arrived at Broome and had a rest there for a while. After hanging around at Broome he took off again, heading up the coast. He arrived at another jila called Jintirripil [somewhere near One Arm Point]. He stayed with Jintirripil for a while there. Jintirripil told Kurtal to stay with him near the sea. Kurtal tricked him saying, ‘Yes, I’ll stay with you’.

Jintirripil then told Kurtal to look for anther jila [ancestral being] call Paliyarra [near Nookanbah] because Paliyarra stole sacred objects that belonged to him and he wanted them back. Kurtal set off to find Paliyarra. After finding Paliyarra he went hunting, killing bush animals and cooking them up. He gave them to Paliyarra. Paliyarra knew what he was there for: to steal back the sacred objects he stole from Jintirripil. From there he told Kurtal, tricking him, ‘I haven’t got what you came here looking for.’ [Singing:] ‘Ngajirta Pa Mintirr Mintirr.’ He told him he got nothing. Kurtal could see through him, he could see lighting flashing inside him all that time he was telling him, ‘I can’t give you anything.’ From there he set his dogs onto Kurtal. They bit him all over. He ran around Paliyarra with the dogs after him, tripping him over. They both fell down, Paliyarra spilling the stolen objects onto the ground. Kurtal kicked them objects towards his home, into his waterhole, all them objects they used to make rain with, the same objects we still make rain with, but I am only one left now. I don’t know how I got to do it now, maybe with my grandsons.
With the dogs still chasing him he took off running, heading north to a place called Pinykurrngu [don’t know where this place]. On top of a hill he had a rest for while there, away from the dogs because he was bitten. After that he went to another waterhole called Kunjurrpung [not far from Ngumpan]. He had a look around to see if he had any objects with him for Kurtal to steal but he had none. After talking to that jila he went on his way. He came to another jila [Spider doesn’t know the name of this one], they sat down and had a chat. Kurtal went hunting for that jila. That’s what they did in the Dreamtime, to kill feed for another person. We still do that today but in the law way. After having a feed that other jila told him the same thing: he got nothing, no objects. [Singing:] ‘Ngajirta Pa Mintirr Mintirr’. He could look through him and seen lightning flashing inside him. Kurtal then made willy willies [whirlwinds] come up around them then. They all became one big willy willy and it covered them both with dust. They couldn’t see. The other jila didn’t know what was going on. With fright he dropped his objects on the ground. Kurtal kicked them towards his Country, Kurtal. Into the waterhole, they went. Yuwa [yes].

Kurtal took off again, this time north. He came to a hill and had a rest there on top, looking around where he’s going to steal the next stuff from. He climbed down and went to a place called Kilalaparri [at Christmas Creek]. He sat down there with that jila [ancestral being] and then all this little men, Murungkurr, came out of the ground and started attacking him. He was killing them with his lightning. Off he went again to another jila [Spider doesn’t know this one either]. This time he stole everything from him, all the rain-making stuff. He took them all with him till he came to Kaningarra. That jila Kaningarra was waiting for him. Kurtal and Kaningarra are yalpurru [were born at the same time]. They’re mates. Kaningarra told Kurtal, ‘Let’s lay down here then we can be together.’ Kurtal, tricking him, said, ‘You lie down over there and I’ll lay down here.’ Kaningarra then went into the ground and turned into a snake, kalpurtu [rainbow serpent], and today that waterhole Kaningarra is still there. Kurtal kept on going, carrying all them stolen objects in a coolamon to his Country. He was slowly getting weak. He fell down on one knee and that place we call it Tujulu. He then started to crawl towards his waterhole. He crawled inside with all his stolen objects for good. He went inside and turned into a snake, and he is there today, at his home, Kurtal. That’s the song ‘Kurtal wanyjurla wanyjurla’ we sing. That’s Kurtal, that’s where he went inside for good. He sent up a kutukutu [rain-bearing clouds] like the ones I made at the water hole. He his still there, even to this day.

[Now Spider is telling his story.]

I am from there. That’s where Kurtal left me. He left me and my wife Dolly [Snell], and her brothers and Mosquito, Johnny Mosquito, my brother. Kurtal put them there. And Wiyli Wiyli, my son [Richard Tax]. He put everybody there, that Kurtal. Kurtal left me further up north. I am one of his lightnings.

There was a big storm, lighting everywhere, big rain. From that place my parents found me. I was a snake, a water snake. My mother saw me and was coming up to me, creeping me up, I saw her coming and laid down for her. She hit me, killing me and she pulled me out of the ground from my ribs. She then lit a fire to cook me. She covered me in hot coals and ash. Then all of a sudden there was water where she had me cooking. Water and a tiny snake. She then threw that tiny snake away saying, ‘What happened to that big snake I had cooking here? Did it turn into water too?’ Then I was born right there at Kurtal. That little snake was my Dreaming. I was a kid at Kurtal. My mother and father went hunting sometimes for two or three days or more. I was there alone, and at night I would say, ‘Kurtal, look after me. I am alone, my parents haven’t came back yet. Can you look after me?’

In the mornings I would get up, go hunting. I was a good hunter when I was a kid, killing all kinds of animals in the desert. I used to cook them near the waterhole, chucking bones in the water. I was a good child when I was a kid, looking after my own self, and then my parents would return. Kurtal is cheeky. He doesn’t let any animals drink water. He’ll swallow them up. One time me and my brother went to have a drink. I drank first, then him. Next thing he went into the water! That snake grabbed him! I was scared. I ran to tell the old men who were sitting under a tree, calling out, ‘There’s a kid in the water! That snake got him! He swallowed him! Come and get him out!’ They all got up carrying axes with them. They ran to the waterhole saying, ‘Let him go or we will chop you up!’ From there Kurtal let him out alive. He kept him inside there for a while then spewed him out. He’s my brother. He was okay. Then they picked him up and took him to a shady tree. He’s a cheeky bugger. He don’t let anything drink water, that Kurtal, man, wanya [featherfoot/sorcerer], devil, anything. He’ll just chuck you in the water and swallow you up. Cheeky bugger.

Today he’s finished now. Nothing now. He’s quiet. He’s got no people left now, all his mob all gone. I am the only one visiting and looking after him now. Everybody all passed away now, all the old people that belong to Kurtal. Wilyi Wilyi Mosquito, my brother who died in Adelaide, the whole lot, all finished now. He’s only seeing me now, looking after him. Only one. Today Kurtal is full of water. Everywhere, it’s flooded. We went there recently. I had a swim there.

I haven’t got that story for Kinki and I never seen camels in the Stock Route. I went from Kurtal to Billiluna. I was initiated at Billiluna. I stayed there for a while finishing my law, the law that belongs to them old people. Then I went to Wangkatjungka, then I finished everything there. They told me, ‘You’ve finished your law now. You are a law man.’ I was a young fella then. I didn’t have a wife then. Because I’ve finished my law, my lamparr and yumari [father in law and mother in law] gave me Jukuja [Dolly Snell] as my wife. They gave Jukuja to me when she was a young girl. We lived together until we got old, still today. I had no trouble. We lived a good life.
I know about a white man who got killed at Natawalu [Well 40] and there’s another two that got killed at Lampu [Well 49]. One, he’s buried there. That kartiya [white man] shot that other kartiya. We were all bushmen then when that two kartiya killed each other. There’s a grave for one of them at Lampu. That fella at Natawalu speared that kartiya and then that kartiya shot him with a 44 maybe.

[Kinki story]

Little story I’ll tell you: Old man kartiya [white man] came. I don’t [know] where he came from, they shot and killed old man Kinki, and his daughter as well. They salted them and gave them to us at Jikarn [Well 50]. We thought it was goat meat. They killed them. We ate him. That old fella. My old man (that’s what I called him: father). We had a good feed. We didn’t know it was a human. We boiled some in a billycan. All that time we were thinking it was goat meat. We all ate them. Nothing was left. We thought it was goat we were eating but it was old man Kinki, poor fella. It wasn’t good meat. It had no fat and it tasted horrible. But we still ate it. They killed him and his daughter at Kaningarra. They cut them up and salted them. We ate my old man and my sister. We ate em all up. Finished. Wali [that’s all].

Source: CSROH_52_Ngilpirr_Spider_Snell

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Name: Clifford Brooks, Jawurji Mervyn Street

Jawurji Mervyn Street, Clifford Brooks - Boundaries [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Cliffy and Mervyn speak about the Martu boundaries that exist across Canning Stock Route Country and how kartiya maps do not acknowledge these boundaries. The speak about how Canning and his team used Martu people to help them find water for the wells on the stock route and how the Martu boundaries defined the final path of the stock route. Tourists don't understand the boudaries when they are passing through, they can't see the songlines. The Martu story of the guides and the people who have worked on the Canning Stock Route have not bee recorded.

Date: 7/30/2007
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_07_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street_Clifford_Brooks
Interviewed By: John Carty
Transcribed By: John Carty
Location Recorded: Helen Hill
Latitude/Longitude: -22.76667/123.7

Access: PUBLIC
Notes: There are four minutes of dialogue at the end of Tape 7 Side A that was spoken in Martu Wangka and has not been transcribed, which means it remains without a permission. In this section Clifford Brooks talks about his father’s search for Rover Thomas and includes some interjections from Mervyn Street.
Full transcript:
Mervyn Street: Now I was just lookin at this map here [tourist map of the Canning Stock Route], and see there’s nothing there, I can’t see any language boundary in this map- nothing. So for me you know, I was thinking ‘bout that time when Canning went through this way. Must be old people been workin for that kartiya [white person] – I dunno how many know, how many been workin for that kartiya doin well – when they was just about to get to that nother language boundary might be they been know that another family – like a boundary there – they never want go in more. Might be they been get frightened to go in there. Might be that kartiya pushed em, to make em to go there.

Some place story, you know, I been just listening, some people might have been forced to go there and when they been get to that nother area might be they been get frightened two sides: from other mob, from other tribe – because they been come from nother place – and they might have been frightened from kartiya [white person] side or from Martu side same time you know? That’s why kartiya might have been chain them every night time, so they can’t get away. And in the morning they make them work. But I been listening, they gotta good story, got good history for that kartiya, but somefella reckon kartiya been doing bad again some time, nother place, nother way, you know. But I thinking old people mighta been chained, locked up in a tree, might be kartiya been use, might be their wife – might be something like that – never know. That’s why might be some martu mighta been getting a funny feeling, like it might be kartiya never doin the right thing. Sometime they been frightened to run away, but sometime nother place now, they been get killed half way in the road – never know.

That’s the way the story gone, all the way. And what is worrying me here [Mervyn is addressing the map] – that got no boundary marks, for all the language, nothing. Kartiya [white person] gottem right across from Billiluna to Wiluna, you know. Like a language group you know, how far they go the language groups. Here from Billiluna they’re mixed, my family group there like a Jaru and [XX – mulpurra?] they talk and might be Kukatja [language group] that side, and more and more language coming in this road all the way. It got a language group all the way, right through. Might be some fella, Martu, might be frightened to go to nother area, nother language area, might be they been frightened to go through there, you know. And whitefella keep going, forcing them to go. And whitefella side they been thinking there’s nothing there, but Martu side, something is there.

John Carty: How do Martu know where the boundaries are, that kartiya [white people] can’t see?

MS: They know. Because they know what tribe the next place, they know how far they stop, when they go using that area. And they know how far that nother language boundary, they know. But whitefella, they don’t know where. They just you know go – long as they look at the Country – they just go. And they like to go straight! But in the road somewhere, Martu side, they got some special thing in the road there somewhere. In a front. They gonna have to dodge around, go other way round, all around you know? When Canning been going working with them people now, another people mighta been say, ‘this not our Country now. You gonna have to get right mob to lead you la this place now. ‘Only somefella been say you not gonna use same fella all the way, this not our area. And that why Martu always been say, you know, that they don’t understand. They like to force him, keep going people – to go through there.

Clifford Brooks: Chain em up.

MS: Chain em up, if he not listening. Chain em up.

CB: So he can’t run away you know? Night time he can’t run away he chained up there. He’ll still use him in the morning, you know.

MS: He never know, might be that Martu chained up, he never know if that man used his wife in the night, never know. That kind of thing, you know. Because I been understand all the road it circle round and round, and I been thinking straightaway might be something, special place there, and they been make it clear place all the way to go, and that’s why people used that place – nothing to worry, you know – might be bad thing one side all the way you know. But that’s the main thing, when you go to another language boundary, you get a right one to lead you through there – to guide you all the way. But whitefella never think anything like that, you know, they just reckon long as they been go where the straight line is, that’s all. In the Martu side there’s no straight line. You can’t go straight when you got something, some special thing in the road - you’re gonna have to dodge around, you know.

They got good name, but I heard about and know some story not good, you know.

JC: What would Martu do, if they’re comin up, might be that hill there, or nother hill, they come up to that place and they know that’s another man’s Country now, do they stop there or?

MS: Yeah. Only people who know, who belong to that place, he got a right to do that, but not Martu from nother area. He can’t do that, he gotta respect another Martu – you know, respect. He gonna have to ask proper way, and that Martu will lead for that nother Martu that free way to go, you know, no anything in the road. He can make it good.

JC: So you can’t just walk through another man’s Country?

MS: No. If you kartiya [white person] you’re leading me there, I might say I’m not allowed to go there, but you keep on telling me to go there. I never say, ‘no’ – you might turn and what you’ll do la me? You not listening to me. And those days, like before, it was happening like that, you know, ‘oh you not listening’ – he can punish you. He can starve you for dinner, or you can camp no feed all night, or something like that. Or might be just poison you or get rid of you – if you run away.

JC: So what you were saying, some of those people who were making the stock route, they put some of those Martu in a situation like where they afraid of kartiya [white people] one side – because they might get chained up, they might steal their wife, they might get shot, anything.

MS: Yeah.

JC: But they afraid of Martu too because they’ve been taken in the wrong Country?

MS: Yeah. Wrong Country there. Yeah. And they been forced through that Country they gotta think bout ‘nother Martu might [XX] ... That Martu from nother place might be he’s thinking, ‘oh I’m doing the wrong thing because this whitefella making me to go there, I’m not supposed to be there.’ And Martu might say, ‘not me, you gotta get that one there, the right one to take you to show you to lead you right way. You get the right person from there to next language boundary – you get another Martu from there, keep going, you know. Language this one Martu all the way along, you know. That’s why maybe them Martu been frightened – they try to get away, but them whitefella keep going, force them to go there.

JC: It’s a little bit like this trip. Like you gotta have – early part, Jiglaong/ Wiluna mob, the right people who gotta talk.

MS: The right people gotta talk. Right across. When you’re lookin at this map there – it’s clean – just only that road Canning Stock Route all the way. When Martu look like that, it’s nothing there. They’re gonna have to work out some way to put boundaries so when people look here’s the language boundaries. And when we go to this trip, might be somewhere, who’s the right person to take you to lead you somewhere? Might be he’s right for whitefella, kartiya [white people] he just go you know.

CB: Yuwo [yes]. Kartiya-fella way, you’re trespassing on other people’s Country you know, other people’s land. You know that word you say “trespassing” - you can’t trespass on other peoples property. You’re breaking the law, you know. Because we’ve got our own law, and where the boundary ends is [XX] … it’s the songlines you follow, you know. That’s what the old people showed us, the old people keep it in their head, ‘this songline ah, that’s where my boundary finishes,’ you know. And that person in that group where they’re, you know, having a ceremony, ‘oh his boundary now, he can sing that area, that’s his Country.’ Well that’s what Mervyn been saying about the boundaries. We only can go so far, we can speak in that area because we – like for myself I’m a Kartujarra [language group], but I been born, I been with the Manyjilyjarra tribe, so I can speak two sides me. And my old man, he from up that side [pointing north] from [Well] 33 back here, he been right up to Lake Disappointment with the Putijarra tribe, so he made his way up this way to get through all that – so he had to … it’s already open for him to go through, for my old man. They been welcome him in every tribe. And like what’s-a-name been say, Mervyn been say, kartiya [white people] never put that in the map, where the language boundaries are. It might be in this book here [Tonkinson], old Tonkinson been put it, it’s in this book here, but there’s no line in that map you know. Like for myself, I been, I know that Country, all the language there, I can talk Manyjilyjarra I can talk Kartujarra me know, so I can talk right up to [Well] 33, to Kunawarritji you know, because of my old man on that side, father side. Mother’s side is here, from Raarki [Well 27] back that way [towards Well 23]. This last well we went through, my uncle’s.

I only been travel through here one time, from … goin up to [Well] 33. First time I came through here was in ’97, and I didn’t even know all them areas, you know. I knew them but I didn’t ... I was a young bloke travelling. I didn’t took much interest. I been listening to all them Countries when I was a kid with my old man. He tell me, ‘one day when you want to see me you’ll go to all them places there, and you have a look, and you can tell the story. If they can’t listen to you by the story, you’ll do the art. By painting you can do that’. And that’s one of the things I’m gonna do when I go back [to Wiluna], do the language groups’ painting. Tell my story through there, through the art. Probably do a really big one, show where the boundaries are for all the language groups

JC: We’ll put it next to this one [tourist map of the Canning Stock Route]!

CB: Kartiya [white people] been putting the map here, you know, he only want to put the cattle through, right up here to Wiluna, you know. And its like what Mervyn been saying, people been getting frightened come along, ‘oh I can’t go in the next man’s boundary, I might get speared, or they might do something, sing me, you know. You’ll be cripple or sick for lifetime, you won’t get healed. And the old people will say – they’ll point a bone at you, you know, you’ll be finished in one day, if they really wanted to get rid of you. So you can’t go back and tell the people what been happen. Finished’.

JC: That’s something kartiya [white people] don’t really understand. Like it wasn’t just kartiya who got speared for goin the wrong place, like Martu would spear Martu if they’re trespassing another man’s Country, wouldn’t they?

MS: Yeah.

CB: That’s right.

JC: It’s a really hard Law.

MS: That’s why I’ve been bring up this thing, looking at this map and I been thinking, ‘where’s the language boundary?’ You got a track right there, they made a good history, and where’s the boundary for all the people here? Because when you go farm they got electric fence. And that nother farmer, neighbour, they can’t jump over another people’s boundary. They got electric fence, keep that bloke one side. Martu boundaries got no electric fence, just tree … People just passing through. But looking at this map, they [kartiya – white people] gotta recognise where are all the boundaries, language boundaries.

JC: Do you think tourists understand, when they’re passing through, might be that way if there’s a boundary of hills, or sandhill, they understand what boundaries they’re passing through?

CB: I don’t think they really understand the boundaries, they just drive through thinking its free, vacant land, you know – they say its Country that anyone can travel on. But they don’t know the real history, the real true story about the Martu, what’s really underneath, the stories have really never been told, you know. I know its sacred to the Martu, but for the whitefella to really understand what this Martu land is, ‘oh, this hill, what is it sacred or you know …’ They just drive along, and drive up the hills thinking, ‘it’s only a hill there’. Like when we went past that hill over there [pointing to the sandhill with tyre marks running up it that Cam and Paul went back to film], they think its just a hill and you can drive up there and do whatever you want. Back in those old people days you’re gonna get, old people, if you go up there – you’re gone [dead] that night now. They’ll sing you just like that. They’ll come to you when you sleep. They can pull any part of your organs inside of you, they’ll pull it out of you. You’re gone. Like going into next man’s territory you know, you can’t do that really. Well in the kartiya [white person] way you can’t go into another man’s property, you’re trespassing, you go to lock-up. You’ll be prosecuted, or even shot! Yuwo [yes]. If you’re trespassing in another people’s Country, ‘specially in a farm. You got a house there next door, you can’t jump over the other side. Only if you’re welcome to go there. Same here now. Like that from Wiluna there I couldn’t speak, I only spoke quietly now. I just kept quiet you know. And I just tell Friday, I tell him, ‘hey, where’s that songline?’ That’s all I been ask him, you know, secret way, and he just tell me by myself, ‘that’s this one here now’, and I knew straight away because I knew some of the songs. But its just for myself, I keep it because I know – what my tjamu [grandfather] tell me, grandfather telling, ‘don’t tell anybody’, unless they’re a Man [initiated], you know.

MS: What is good thing for putting a boundary line, you know? Get somebody along this road – all the people who know where all the boundaries is, putting all the name, and when the tourist come they can sort of read, ‘ah, we’re in Gardujarra Country’. Next one, other sign, ‘ah we’re in Manyjilyjarra Country’.

CB: Or Putjiarra, or…

MS: When they know, when they coming driving through.

CB: It may be a good idea, you know, to just put signs [saying], ‘you’re in this territory’. ‘Oh, we’re in Manyjilyjarra tribe Country now’, so that they can respect. Put a sign there saying, ‘don’t go driving off the road and don’t go to driving doing wheelies around the claypans’, and all that stuff.

MS: Have a big sign, saying what’s the place where you’re in, and it’s got all the things there.

CB: Maybe put a sign there, you know. Its like what we said earlier, might be, to tell our story to the world, we can do it by painting, paint this Country. But we don’t want to paint other people’s Country, you gotta get permission first, ‘can we paint from the start to the end?’ You know. Maybe I can just paint in that area, my area, and other people from that side can paint that way and join it up together. Maybe this mob can join up, and nother mob can join in the middle you know, like do it in parts you know. Maybe … that’s what I think. We can paint in one area, and middle mob can, that tribe can paint that area, and that last mob can painting and put it in the painting. Join them together.

MS: Make a map out of the painting!

CB: Maybe, I’m just thinking you know like that, a good idea.

JC: I think that’s a really good idea, that the real map.

CB: Yuwo [yes].

MS: Yeah.

JC: That’s what this exhibition can be, if you mob want to do it that way, telling your story through your own maps.

CB: That north mob, Balgo and Fizroy, they painting their Country, like that picture I been see the other night, they painting they’re Country, they paint, like that one now. We get them to paint, get a painting for that one there, and maybe we can paint our one in the middle there and join em together. … and we can get maybe this mob, maybe Jiglaong or Parnngurr to join em together, join the paintings, tell their story
through there, ‘this one here rockhole, mine one belong to my grandfather...’

MS: And they can know now, they can know where’s that place not to go, where’s that place you can go – all that kind, all the way along. That map will show everything that way; it would make a really good map.

[Note: There are four minutes at the end of this track that are not transcribed. In this section Clifford Brooks talks about his father’s story looking for Rover Thomas, with some interjections from Mervyn Street]

[CSR Tape 7: Side B]

CB: Yeah, big painting from the start, today that’ll be really good for the exhibition, you know.

JC: Well it’ll be great because kartiya [white people] will be able to see, they can look at this map that they understand and then see that other map there and go ‘oh, there’s a different story’.

CB: Yeah, oh this is where … the boundaries are here, you know … we want to … what we say been a good idea … where the boundaries you know? We can tell our stories through that, you know? Might be here, put it on here … some part might be, will be cut … to make the program on the thing there shorter, you know? That’s what um, editors do, you know? They might cut all the stories out, you know? Yuwo [yes]… to make it short, you know? Yuwoo [yes].

JC: They might have to.

CB: Yuwo [yes] … that’s how some of the stories are getting get missed out, you know? Our stories are getting missed out, you know?

JC: Yeah.

CB: But … the only way for us mob is to do it by painting, do it section by section … this is the group, this is the language group here, another language group here, you know? And this is a boundary that one, we can put it all in the one … boundary side. When you look at it now, kartiya’s [white people] going through the boundary, going right through …

JC: It’s trespassing - but we call it tourism.

CB: Yuwo [yes], tourism yeah, tourism you call him.

MS: Just like a … Canning got good history of this road now for his story, made it really good history – what about all the Martu? We got no history. We been working through here, at least Martu do their best to make a road for other mob.

CB: All the Martu been used, like some of them come on the trip, they’re like a cook, old people, they been come as a cook washing plate and all that, and they been come up there … They not in the photo, they not in the book, they not in the pictures …

MS: No name, nothing …

CB: Nothing. You go to Turkey Creek now I seen a one old lady there she got a wooden leg you know … and he been sit down they and he been tell me the story, ‘well, I been droving, I been go that-a way, Wiluna’, and he got a wooden leg.

MS: Yeah.

CB: I seen her last … year before … last year when I was there. Yeah before that, yeah … I seen her with a wooden leg still walking around and he been tell me that story, ‘oh, I been to Wiluna, I been droving, I been washing plate I been come back and I been hurt my leg on that, on that trip’ … that old lady still there …

MS: In Billiluna … they know their story again, you know, old people again, but they’re not in the photos, they got no name, nothing. And we’re trying to get that story back and, you know, put their name down. They gotta be part of this droving story and this story about why Canning been making that well all the way. They got names, old people. But we want to bring them back again, story for old people.

CB: Yuwo [yes].

MS: Yuwo [yes].

Source: CSROH_07_Jawurji_Mervyn_Street_Clifford_Brooks

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Name: Doolmarria Louise Mengil

Doolmarria Louise Mengil - Being part of the Canning Stock Route Project [ORAL HISTORY]

Synopsis: Louise talks about her experience as an emerging curator on the Canning Stock Route Project. She explains how she has learned how to look at a painting, and about mapping paintings to the CSR. She talks about the curatorial process and what it has been like working with Wally, Terry and Hayley. She says curating is like a sport - it's competitive. She talks about her hopes for the future and how the curators have helped each other: we're all inspiration to each other.

Date: 4/12/2008
Art centre(s):
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_189_Louise_Mengil
Interviewed By: Clint Dixon
Recorded by: Clint Dixon
Location Recorded: Old Masonic Hall, Nedlands
Latitude/Longitude: -31.98/115.8

Access: PUBLIC
Full transcript:
Clint Dixon: Can you introduce yourself?

Louise Mengil: My name’s Louise Mengil. I’m 24, on Saturday. My skin group is Nangala [?] and I live in Kununurra.

CD: Since the last meeting, what have you learnt?

DLM: Heaps. I’ve learnt how to look at paintings in a different version, I’ve learnt how to compare works that are emerging, I can tell an emerging artist from a well known artist, so I’ve learnt heaps since the last trip.

CD: Can you explain how you did things differently? Mapping?

DLM: Ok, well that’s all new to me as well, but it’s all part of the experience that I’m learning. So, it was … laying the map of the Canning Stock Route was a layout to where the paintings fit in, and where the stories came in. So when we did that it was more to see what we had to play with, basically, so what paintings we could see were in each area and which country and how it related … yeah, so basically how it related to the Canning Stock Route and how we go about putting it into the exhibition.

CD: Out of the 100 plus paintings, how many are left?

DLM: Seventy-five paintings we’ve actually chosen, so far - without the paintings that haven’t come from the art centres yet, so there’s more to come and we’re thinking of having eighty paintings in the show, so we’re going to compare the new works with what we’ve got now and if it’s stronger than some work which means we have to take some out, so we can replace them.

CD: What's it like working with Wally?

DLM: It’s amazing. I’ve learnt so much from Wally, I mean, I practically now do the gallery presentation in our art centre. So, going from not knowing how to look at painting and then coming down here, learning within a week, learning so much and then going back and having that little bit more knowledge to be able to get to where I am now is huge. But Wally is an inspiration for me, he’s a hard worker, he’s like a guidance, he shows us, he explains to us, he sort of like … he doesn’t leave it all up to us. So he’s basically like a really good teacher at guidance.

CD: What's it like working with Terry and Hayley?

DLM: Personally I think they’re great and I like everything about them. They’re two different people, Hayley is very quiet and shy but also educated in a different way. They’re both older than me and they have a little bit more knowledge in the cultural background than what I have. Yeah, working close with them is good, so, I have no problems.

CD: And working with Terry?

DLM: Um … he’s funny. He’s a bit competitive in some ways, like, I consider him as a mentor as well but also a competitor, it’s sort of like doing a sport, like … doing this is like a sport as well for me. And me trying to tie in with what he knows is really, really hard, but it’s good because I learn a lot from him as well.

CD: How do you choose your paintings?

DLM: I tend to choose my paintings through connections. So I connect through a painting, it mightn’t even be by an artist who is famous, it could be an artist who’s just started off. For instance, Hayley Atkins, I connected to her paintings because she had this emotion that goes through it and I felt it from just looking at it and … when I first seen it I didn’t even know it was hers, and then when I asked it was like, it’s Hayley’s, and it was like, wow. You know, she’s got a natural … she’s a natural artist, so ... it’s more a connection thing for me, not what it looks like.

CD: You don’t go by a strong visual or stories behind the painting?

DLM: Yeah, stories definitely and um … it’s got all to do with my feelings. I guess I could appreciate a painting on my wall if I can connect and feel the emotions, the strength of it, if it’s … if it’s just something that I can see and it looks pretty there’s sort of no touch to it. Yeah, it’s more a feeling than a story background. So, yeah.

CD: How much do you know about the CSR now?

DLM: Well I know that it happened a hundred years ago and that all these horrible events that happened, about how people were moved up and down the Canning Stock Route. How a famous, painter, artist, Rover Thomas, how he ended up in Turkey Creek, or Warmun as people say. I’ve learnt heaps, considering I didn’t know anything.

CD: What were some of the funniest things that have happened?

DLM: I don’t really know, I think every day is a laugh for me. Maybe because … oh, there was one instance where Clint was bouncing around doing a ballerina dance and John singing along to it – I think that’s the most funniest thing.

CD: Where do you see yourself after the project finishes?

DLM: After the whole project? I see myself with a degree, I see myself with accreditation, with a … curator’s background and hopefully able to have the experience and knowledge to run the art centre in Kununurra.

CD: Can you tell us about your favourite painting?

DLM: The artist is Clifford Brooks, we don’t actually know what the story is, but it’s to do with the Canning Stock Route, it’s ochre based, which I’m … it’s a personal thing for me as well because where I come from ochre is used for practically everything – art, artefacts, ceremony, everything. So, it’s personal for me, but the strength of the painting and just to see the fusion of the ochre, or pigments, how it stood up against acrylics was amazing to see, I didn’t even know it was ochre until they told me.

CD: How do you help each other? [The young curators]

DLM: It works three ways. I help Hayley in trying to come out and be a little bit more … coz I can see there’s more to Hayley than what she does. I mean, I used to be that person at one stage, and um, we encourage Hayley to talk about stuff because she has every right to. She has history, background with the Canning Stock Route and it’s nice to be … she’s got strong emotions and feelings about what happened, about her country, about her family, so I sat down with her and just said express all your feelings, but use it towards anyone that wants to know about it basically, and she did, she was, wow, you know, I didn’t think she could speak that much but she did a whole day of talking and she interacted with about everyone who came through that door. And when I seen her do that I had to tell Terry to step back a bit and let her go, let her have that chance and that experience to sort of open up a bit more.

Whereas Terry, he sort of was an encouragement for me, he always used to encourage me, ‘look, don’t be shy, get up there and do an oral presentation’. There was a time last year, or in the last meet that we had, one of our artists had an exhibition down here and she wanted me to do a speech for the opening and I was like no, no, it’s so embarrassing, I can’t do it, I’d choke, and Terry was like ‘don’t worry about who’s there. Think about your grandmother, think about the work and think about your voice, tell them what you’re here to tell them’. So, he’s more of an encouragement to me, and it sort of goes down to Hayley. So I’m sort of in the middle and it’s really nice. We’re all inspiration for each other, like the whole team is great. I think that this whole project is an awesome experience for me, I see a lot of hard working people, I see fun people as well and people who’s just very laid back which I like, so, yeah.

CD: How did you get involved with FORM and the CSR project?

DLM: Well, it was funny. The position I’m in now was supposed to be for another arts broker within the arts centre. He couldn’t make it, due to whatever his excuse was, and Cathy approached me, our manager at the art centre approached me and asked me if I wanted to do it, because she didn’t want to pass up the opportunity, and I was like, well, I don’t even know what you’re talking about but I’ll go along anyway. And I’m actually glad that I did because I’m enjoying it, I’m learning stuff, I’m having experience. It’s great, it’s a great opportunity and I’m grateful that it happened to me.

CD: What's it like working with Clint?

DLM: Very fun, he’s very funny. There’s not a day you don’t go without laughing.

Source: CSROH_189_Louise_Mengil

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Putuparri Tom Lawford

Putuparri Tom Lawford - songlines, technology [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: Putuparri Tom Lawford describes songlines and boundaries, and talks about how much learning there is in becoming a law man. He also talks about technology, and how sometimes it is needed, but that it can also distract from learning about Country.

Date: 2012-06
Art centre(s): CSR Project, Kimberley Aboriginal Law and Culture Centre
Language spoken: English
Catalogue number: CSROH_279_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Date: 2012-06
Transcribed By: Mollie Hewitt
Location Recorded: Newman Creek

Cultural Protocols: Public Access
Access: Public
Notes: This was filmed on the repatriation trip to Newman in 2012. It was transcribed for subtitles, and it is therefore incomplete (and missing interviewer questions) and includes time codes from the film footage.
Full transcript: [Time Code: 22.49]

[Tom Lawford drawing in the sand]

Tom Lawford: Big Country, Australia. Canning Stock Route is just one bit, one little bit there. We will only focus on this bit.

These are the lines right, songlines that travel up and down the Countryside. And across, they go across. And every little circle, this is different tribes, this is their Country. And this mob can’t intrude into their Country, they can’t trespass. They got their own stories. Every little square. This is their own area and you can’t trespass.

[Pointing to his map drawn in the sand] You got up north here, Halls Creek, Billiluna, Halls Creek. And Wiluna down south. And you got the Stock Road. The Canning Stock Road cuts through all these different places. And there is Wells, some say waterholes, in people’s Country.

There are wells on the Canning Stock Route but they are people’s water. Where the Canning Stock Route cut through it took over our water and they made wells. And in a way Alfred Canning, he trespassed onto people’s land, Country.

He took over their waters for animals, to feed cattle. So these lines here, they are all songlines. That is how people are connected, they follow these songline – down, up and across.

[Tom is asked to explain songlines.]

Songlines are ... there’s Dreaming songs for the public and for women and children to hear and there are secret, sacred songlines only for men only. And these songlines they follow a being – like a person. Say this being travelled across this Country and they followed a songline through and the songline even travel across the border – to the territory [Northern Territory]. And then people follow it and then these guys from across the border [of the Northern Territory] they take it on.

Yeah and these songlines have different languages. One songline, one language sing it and then it change for another mob, another language sing it. But it is the same [story].

Well the Canning Stock Route, it broke the Country up. Most of these songlines up north, across here and some down here.

People were living in harmony, in peace. They had their own areas. One mob got their little square there. And the Canning Stock Route it cuts through different people’s land.

[Time code: 27.25]

[Tom is asked about how you know where the boundaries are for different people’s Country.]

Landmarks. Like that hill over there. So if you go over that hill over there it could be another tribe’s Country. You can only go as far as this creek but don’t go beyond that creek.

Well it’s in us because we are Wangkajunga tribe and our area is here [pointing at the sand map] and it’s Martu tribe here and you got another tribe here. And your tribe, you know how far your boundaries are.

It is right across Australia. There is too many tribes, right down to Tasmania.

Well some other tribes, some storyline or songline they cut through that tribe and through other tribes too. You know this songline comes from that area, through this area, cuts through and finishes in this mob area here.

That song itself will tell you. When they are singing a song, it’s a story, it will tell you how far it comes from this tribe to another tribe. And that is the good thing about all Western Desert people, it that we got the one songline that follows on. Even though we come from different parts of the Great Sandy Desert.

We still do that, practice that during our law time. Like the ladies got their own, you can’t interfere with women, men can’t.

That is why you gotta keep it [all that knowledge] in your head. You gotta know, because without that, what would you be? You would just be like a leaf blowing in the wind. You’d be nothing. That is why it is really important to learn from the old people, keep learning. Because, in our culture you don’t count yourself as a man, as a law man, until you know everything. Not half.

[Tom is asked how you become a law man.]

You can’t claim it for yourself, saying, ‘I’m a law man.’ You gotta go through everything to say it. Then the old people gotta go, ‘you’re right, you’ve finished your thing’. Not on your own, they gotta say it. You gotta finish your culture to be how they are. You can be fifty or forty to be a law man, could be eighty. Not twenty or thirty. Not until they say you are one.

[Time code: 32.20]

Some sacred stuff when you keep coming you get taught the real stuff. It gets harder and harder.
Even coming here, to a place like this you are learning. THE COUNTRY IS TEACHING YOU. EVEN THE TREES CAN TEACH YOU.

You gotta cut away technology from your head. Leave the mobile phone and computer aside. And then you have gotta think about your home, for your culture. If you keep that in your mind, and think about what you want to be and how you want to be, without these other interruptions, you can make it in life.

Mobile phone won’t get you anywhere, technology won’t get you anywhere. But we have to use technology, everything is changing, the Country is changing. If you go back to Country, back out to the bush we need a GPS now to find our way back. Most of the old people are all gone now to show us the way through the Country. We need the technology now and then, but not all the time.

To live in this world now you need have both, you have to learn white man way and your own way to live in this world. Otherwise you will never survive.

Yeah I feel it [responsibility]. But looking at things now, how things are changing, you can feel it. And what’s happening to our mob you know, with alcohol and drugs, with rubbish things that are killing them slowly. And it is a big responsibility. Especially when you got kids like these mob here, you gotta be there for them, not for you. You gotta be there for the next mob coming up.

Video recording: 03_DAY_THREE
Source: CSROH_279_Putuparri_Tom_Lawford
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Putuparri Tom Lawford; © FORM, transcript only

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Kumpaya Girgaba

Kumpaya Girgaba - speaking and singing for the camera [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This is a transcript of Kumpaya Girgaba talking and singing for the camera. Toward the end she speaks and sings specifically about the Canning Stock Route collaborative canvas.

Date: 2012-06
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Language spoken: Kriol, Martu Wangka
Catalogue number: CSROH_278_Kumpaya_Girgaba
Date: 2012-06
Transcribed By: Kathleen Sorenson, Mollie Hewitt

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Notes: This was filmed on the repatriation trip to Newman in 2012. It was transcribed for subtitles, and it is therefore incomplete (and missing interviewer questions) and includes time codes from the film footage.
Full transcript: 00.00: Make a damper. It’s afternoon. The sun is going to go down soon.

00.00 – 00.38: [Kumpaya sings, no translation] Longtime people, bushman, all the old lady, man and lady.

00.07 – 01.56: [Song – no translation]

01.57: It’s an old people’s song, long time. Not me, I was only a little girl.

02.21: And my mother and father, my mother, three, and my father. He got three nyupa (husband or wife).

02.49: You wanna get three women?

03.09: One mummy, my mother, my mother. I got three.

My Aunty in Jigalong. Mother, three and my father.


04.58: [Kumpaya clapping and singing] I am doing this for the video.

05.16: [close up singing song]

05.13: [singing] I am sitting here, Mount Newman Creek. Sitting down singing. Mount Newman River.

05.50: Painting, we’re going to open it up now and have a look and might be go back and track it to tell the story of my Country. My painting.

[Then Talking about Canning Stock Route collaborative canvas [the one displayed at CHOGM]]

07.05: Here now, Canning Stock Route! Yeah, my Country.

07.35: Canning Stock Road here [pointing to painting].

08.07: This two – this is Kunawarritji [Well 33]. Kunawarritji here. This one Nyarruri [Well 32], Nyipil [Well 34], Kinyu Well 35], Pangkapini, [between wells 35 and 36] Kilykily [Well 36], Lipuru [Well 37] and Wajaparni [Well 38].

08.38: Wajaparni ...[sic. these wells are out of order] Natawalu, Kulyayi, Tiru, Jimpirrinykarra, Wirriyarra, Kartalapuru, Bililuna.

09.10: Billiluna... this one [at the other end] Wiluna.

09.44: This one my Country. This Canning Stock Route here, this is my Country. This is Parnngurr.

[repeats the wells]

Nyarruri, Nyipil, Kinyu, Pangkapini, Kilykily...

These are my Country. These ones belong to another lot of people. Fitzroy mob, Mangkaja mob. Another lot of people.

11.00: Kaningarra [Well 48], right up near Bililuna. This is Martu side and other side is Kurtal. Up to Fitzroy.

11.39: [Kumpaya and Tom] Kaningarra and Kurtal.

12.12: That’s my area. This is our Country. They were there and then they went to Fitzroy Crossing.
Old man went there.

12.38: ... and he was singing songs [Old Spider, Tom’s Grandfather]. They were singing a song at Kurtal. He been stay there and he been go.

13.50: My cousin, all the nephews and sons, they were dancing in that Country and then they went back, yeah.

14.20: [Footprints] All the Parnngurr mob, they came from the Country, walking in the Country. The ones that look more recent they are the people that came back. Old people and the people today.

15.30: We went back and made this now, this is my Country, Canning Stock Route Ngurra [Country]. My Country, all the people’s Country.

16.18: Puntukurnu painting, Martumili. [This is Aboriginal people’s painting. Martu people’s.]

17.00: She been finish him off, my daughter here. This daughter here [points at Kat]. We finished him off me and my daughter.

19.00 – 19.52: [singing around painting sitting down. Morika sings, but being silly]

20.00: [Nola. Morika and Nola singing ‘Twinkle Twinkle’] Morika: yeah same thing!

20.28: [Jakayu and Kumpaya on canvas singing]

21.10: [Singing starts again]

21.40: From Punmu they got up. I was there, I saw it. [Sings again]

22.10: Nola: Alright Gabe, you singing.

22.32: [singing

[Kumpaya talks about Canning Stock Route Project in Martu Wagka, translated by Kathleen Sorenson]

36.33: It’s me talking, my name is Kumpaya for painting. We’ve got to bring it back home and it will stay home. My painting.

37.19: My Country. Kumpaya my name, I am Kumpaya now talking.

37.24: I’m the boss of the painting. This is for us and for all of us. We’re bringin it back.

38.28: My name is Kumpaya Girgaba. We bringing it back home, we’re gonna keep ‘em. Too many people here, we gonna keep ‘em.

39.04: I am Kumpaya, I’m talking for taking back home, story. Our paintings for all of us. We gotta look after our painting. We’re gonna keep it for our family. I am talking nyami.

39.50: Nyami now. I’m Kumpaya, we’re bring it back home. That’s the last one, nyami. That’s that. We’re gonna keep it in our Country.

Video recording: 03_DAY_THREE
Source: CSROH_278_Kumpaya_Girgaba
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Kumpaya Girgaba; © FORM, transcript only

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Mulyatinki Marney

Mulyatinki Marney - biography [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This transcript is a brief biography of Mulyatinki Marney, based on Monique La Fontaine's handwritten fieldnotes with additions from Ngalangka Nola Taylor.

Date: 2009-04
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_277_Mulyatingki_Marney
Date: 2009-04

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Mulyatingki Marney: Country is Kunawarritji and Nyiniari, south of Juntujuntu. Grew up in Karlamilyi and came in to Jigalong when she was a teenager. She was given a husband, promised one at Country – Joshua’s big brother. Mulyatingki had 2 girl and 2 boy, one has passed away – one son. Moved to Punmu in the 1980s when it was first set up, come in a big red truck. Mummy’s name is Telpu. Daddy passed away at Karlamilyi. Milton brother nyiti. One brother passed away. Jawarta - Donald Moko in Bidyadanga.

When Daddy passed away walked around, come Punmu, Jawarta went Jigalong and then Lajamanu. Mulyatingki walked into Jigalong, she was a teenager (come in naked one), Mulyatingki has daughter in Yuendemu one in Punmu. My Nyupa passed away Punmu. “I’m a single woman. My son is working at Telfer all the time. He got a Nyupa and 2 children. I found my husband at Strelley. I was making trouble …”

Source: CSROH_277_Mulyatingki_Marney
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Mulyatinki Marney; © FORM, transcript only

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.

Nora Wompi

Nora Wompi - biography [ORAL HISTORY]
Synopsis: This transcript is a brief briography of Nora Wompi, based on Monique La Fontaine's handwritten fieldnotes.

Date: 2009-10
Art centre(s): Martumili Artists
Catalogue number: CSROH_276_Nora_Wompi
Date: 2009-10
Location Recorded: Kunawarritji (Well 33)
Latitude/Longitude: -22.34188/124.77525

Cultural Protocols: Public Access - Restrictions on Use
Access: Public
Full transcript: Skin group: Nungurrayi
Dreaming: Pussycat
Country: Kunawarritji

Born Pingakurangu Pamarr (rock/hill) rockhole. She travelled around Kunawarritji and when she travelled to Balgo with the drovers she was still a young girl. She lost her Mummy and Daddy. She had four brother – lost, one girl she lost. Wompi’s older brother is Morika’s [Morika Biljabu] Dad. Wompi has two son. Her son Philip Bell is married to Bugai Whylouter.

Source: CSROH_276_Nora_Wompi
Rights: Cultural Owner & Storyteller: Nora Wompi; © FORM, transcript only

Provenance: This material is sourced from Ngurra Kuju Walyja — the Canning Stock Route Project, which was initiated in 2006 by FORM and developed in partnership with Birriliburu, Kayili, KALACC, Mangkaja, Martumili, Ngurra, Papunya Tula, Paruku IPA, Warlayirti and Yulparija artists and art centres.


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